Amid irregularities, AP unable to declare winner in Iowa

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Caucus goers check in at a caucus at Roosevelt Hight School, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Associated Press said Thursday that it is unable to declare a winner of Iowa’s Democratic caucuses.

Following the Iowa Democratic Party’s release of new results late Thursday night, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted. That is a margin of 0.09 percentage points.

However, there is evidence the party has not accurately tabulated some of its results, including those released late Thursday that the party reported as complete. The AP’s tabulation of the party’s results are at 99% of precincts reporting, with data missing from one of 1,765 precincts, among other issues.

Further, even as the Iowa Democratic Party’s effort to complete its tabulation of the caucus results continued Thursday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez asked the Iowa Democratic Party to conduct a recanvass. That is not a recount, but rather a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly.

Perez sought the recanvass following days of uncertainty about the results reported by the Iowa Democratic Party, which includes technology problems with the mobile phone app used by the party to collect results from caucus sites, an overwhelming number of calls to the party’s backup phone system and a subsequent delay of several days of reporting the results.

The Iowa Democratic Party suggested it may not comply with Perez’s request, issuing a statement that said it would conduct a recanvass if one was requested by one of the candidates.

“The Associated Press calls a race when there is a clear indication of a winner. Because of a tight margin between former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders and the irregularities in this year’s caucus process, it is not possible to determine a winner at this point,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s senior vice president and executive editor.

The AP will continue to monitor the race, as well as the results of any potential recanvass or recount.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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